Caloia holding onto lead in 9th District DA race

With two of three counties’ election results finalized, Democratic challenger Sherry Caloia is continuing to hold onto a slight lead over Republican incumbent Martin Beeson in the district attorney’s race in the 9th Judicial District.

Garfield and Rio Blanco counties have released final results that have led to Caloia’s lead shrinking from 124 to 91. However, that’s still a few more votes than what would trigger an automatic recount, and Caloia’s lead likely will grow once final results are in from Pitkin County, which overall has voted 2-1 in her favor.

Pitkin election officials had not released the county’s results by early Tuesday evening. The county hoped to finish its count Tuesday night but its deadline for certifying its election results isn’t until Friday.

Caloia currently holds a 17,469-17,378 lead. An automatic recount would be required if her margin of victory is within a half of one percent of total votes cast for her. Currently, that’s 87.3 votes.

The revised election counts include late-arriving votes by the military, ballots cast by people who had done things such as failing to sign their ballots and were given time to do so, and the ballots of people who were allowed to vote provisionally despite questions over their eligibility.

Garfield County had 561 provisional votes and 408 were accepted. In Rio Blanco County, 43 of 77 provisional ballots were accepted. Ballots were rejected for reasons such as voters not having registered in time.

Beeson picked up 15 more votes in Garfield County and 18 more in Rio Blanco between the preliminary and final vote counts.

He has the option of asking for a recount if an automatic one isn’t required, but he would have to absorb the cost unless the recount ends up in his favor.

“I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m going to see what the final numbers are and see what the time constraints (for requesting a recount) are and make a decision at that point,” Beeson said.

The Secretary of State’s Office has until Dec. 6 to order a mandatory recount, and candidates and other parties have until the next day to request a recount of their own. Any recount must be completed by Dec. 13.

Caloia said she has been fairly confident her lead will hold up, as seems to occur with other close races once results are finalized. The final percentages “don’t seem to change that much” from preliminary results, she said.

She said it’s hard being left in limbo over the election outcome, but is planning to attend an upcoming school for new district attorneys put on by the Colorado District Attorneys Council, on the assumption the election outcome won’t change.


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